MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Children of all backgrounds often feel that parents cannot see things from their perspective, and military children handle a unique set of circumstances that may cause a higher sense of isolation than their peers outside of the military community.
Some parents aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune decided to take steps to learn about what their children go through, during a luncheon sponsored by the Protestant Women of the Chapel at the Paradise Point Officer’s Club, Feb. 22.
The luncheon included a presentation by Anna Downer Youngs, the field staff director of Discipleship Network of America’s Young Women’s Ministry, titled “Five Things Every Daughter Wants Her Parents to Know”.
“As a parent you want to give your children what they need, but if you didn’t grow up in a military family, you may not know what their struggles are,” said Youngs.
Youngs’ father is a former Marine, who founded DNA ministries. Young said the culture of perfectionism and the focus on performance that makes the military effective can wreak havoc on youth already facing crises of identity.
“We know we are imperfect beings, but when we reach the limit of our ability, we feel like we’re lost,” said Young. “We feel like we’re worthless. In the military, there is no room for failure, but in a family there has to be room for failure.
“When the military culture becomes a family’s culture, it can really affect the way parents and children view themselves,” she continued.
Her speech focused on what helped her when she struggled with her parents. The “Five Things Every Daughter wants her Parents to know” were that daughters want quality time with their parents, grace, unconditional acceptance, two-way dialogue, and for their parents to be open with them. Youngs shared anecdotes, and, after her speech, spoke to parents individually about their experiences.
Juliet Parmiter, a member of the Protestant Women of the Chapel and former Marine, found the speech beneficial. She gained an insight into the relationship between parents and children. She said sometimes parents can be lead by their emotions and that it is important to seek advice. While the event was marketed towards women, she felt fathers had a lot to gain by going.
“The investment in time with classes and workshops helps your relationship with your family,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Alex Smalley, a father of three young girls who attended the event so that he could learn how to maintain a good relationship with his daughters.
Smalley added that it didn’t matter how minor the event was, that families would see the benefits as time passed.
The luncheon was a kickoff event for the Protestants Chapel’s upcoming free family life conference for parents and teenagers, called “Building Stronger Families” where Youngs’ parents will speak along with her and her husband. It is slated to take place on March 11 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Paradise Point Officers’ Club aboard MCB Camp Lejeune.
Child care will be provided and the event requires pre-registration. For more information, call 451-3210